Seventy-two percent of Americans believe the U.S. healthcare system is “in a state of crisis” or “has major problems,” almost the same percentage (71%) who felt that way a few months before the Affordable Care Act was passed seven years ago. (Source: Gallup).
The combined percentages saying the nation’s system is in crisis or is having major problems has stayed in a seven-percentage-point range (from 67% to 74%) over the past 10 years.
The global insulin market is dominated by three companies: Eli Lilly, the French company Sanofi and the Danish firm Novo Nordisk.
In the past decade alone, U.S. insulin list prices have tripled, according to an analysis of data from IBM Watson Health
According to IBM Watson Health data, Sanofi’s popular insulin brand Lantus was $35 a vial when it was introduced in 2001; it’s now $270. Novo Nordisk’s Novolog was priced at $40 in 2001, and as of July 2018, it’s $289.
Stories of people rationing insulin and dying as a result continue to appear in the media.
According to JAMA “annual health care marketing surged from $17.7 billion in 1997 to at least $29.9 billion in 2016, driven by a rapid spike in spending on direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertisements for prescription drugs. Over this period, DTC spending climbed from $2.1 billion to $9.6 billion.
The most rapid increase was in direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising, which increased from $2.1 billion (11.9%) of total spending in 1997 to $9.6 billion (32.0%) of total spending in 2016. DTC prescription drug advertising increased from $1.3 billion (79 000 ads) to $6 billion (4.6 million ads [including 663 000 TV commercials]), with a shift toward advertising high-cost biologics and cancer immunotherapies.
Even if all prescription drugs were free healthcare costs would still be increasing.